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New Zealand Head of Tourism Stephen England-Hall said his country must be careful not to incorporate all liberty tents.
He has a new job as head of the Queenstown group’s Wayfare tourism business
in February and said among the 12,000 who camped, there was a different group.
“We have to be very careful not to put this all together and call it a problem. What matters is when people behave badly.”
This can include defecating in the wilderness, parking or staying in the wrong place.
“That’s not to say that all visitors who choose this type of trip are all bad.”
Some could be a wealthy family who spent two weeks staying in a luxury inn and then had the freedom of two nights camping somewhere to experience nature.
Last month, new Tourism Minister Stuart Nash shared his views on the freedom camp high value tourists will be targeted As a replacement.
He said the freedom to camp in non-independent vehicles would be banned as part of efforts to market New Zealand to very wealthy overseas tourists.
England-Hall said while free camping – including 80,000 Kiwis – could be a problem, backpackers would be a valuable part of the tourism economy when they could return.
“Backpackers are not the same as casual camping who provide labor in the primary and hospitality industries and they spend everything they earn – they tend to travel quite extensively. They tend to be more mobile over the next few years and last a long time.
“They are often labeled the same term as camping freedom – they are very different,” says England-Hall.
Backpackers are also big supporters of the country when they return home.
England-Hall warned that New Zealand would face an uphill battle to attract overseas visitors when travel restrictions and border closings are relaxed.
New Zealand has had to fight hard to be relevant and it’s not a definite conclusion that tourists will return.
“The halo effect around New Zealand’s good record so far around Covid could dissipate quickly. Nobody will care how well you manage the virus as the world continues to develop – there is some work to be done to ensure that New Zealand remains a major concern., ” she says.
“Nobody would thank Tourism NZ if we weren’t ready – we had to be ready to drive demand and partner with industry and airlines to get people on planes.”
Tourism NZ had a budget of about $ 111 million a year to promote New Zealand overseas before Covid-19 but has shifted to domestic campaigns. But abroad it is not yet “dark”.
“You are just as good as your last campaign and at the moment we have a real halo of brands around New Zealand.”
The first stage of visitors is very likely to visit friends and relatives who didn’t come on holidays, England-Hall said.
The second wave will be the business or investor groups.
“The challenge is that historically they didn’t spend a lot of money per day as visitors to our holidays.”
Although these visitors will help the health and well-being of the population, the economic impact is not too big.
“As that starts to shift to more recreational travel, we want to make sure that the mix on the plane leans more towards high value, culture and environment awareness.
To that end, New Zealand must have sales channel marketing activities that build relationships on the ground in other countries.
The latest results show domestic tourism in October rose 24 percent in October. Kiwis on the go cost $ 1.8 billion, up $ 351 million from a year ago.
England-Hall said while domestic spending was encouraging, there was still a $ 12 billion hole in tourism revenue due to the absence of international visitors.
“The fact that October is defending so well is a good signal but as we head into a summer where our international visitors will be dominant, it won’t be a problem this year.”
He said people want to have experiences and build memories with family and friends.
February and March can be gentler as it is the height of the international tourist season.
“What’s exciting is the Kiwis are really exploring New Zealand. In the past it might have taken it for granted, but it’s a very important part of the tourism economy and the reason so many people choose New Zealand for their once-in-a-lifetime trips. We don’t really appreciate it. “